Victoria’s animal cruelty hotspots revealed in new interactive map

RSPCA Victoria

RSPCA Victoria interactive cruelty map

News Grabs RSPCA Victoria Inspectorate Team Leader, Michelle Green

A brand new online, interactive map launched by RSPCA Victoria lets the community track rates of animal cruelty in their own local government area (LGA) and across the state, with the animal charity also releasing three simple steps Victorians can take to help stamp out cruelty.

The interactive animal cruelty map on the RSPCA Victoria website shows where LGAs rank for animal cruelty over the past two financial years, with Geelong and Casey holding the unfortunate top spots for overall number of reports received for the second year running. When it comes to number of cruelty reports per capita, Pyrenees and Strathbogie Shire Councils were in first and second place.

Latest data from the 2021/22 financial year shows neglect continues to be the most common type of report received. During the year RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate responded to 10,577 cruelty reports, with neglect the basis for almost half (46%), meaning members of the community had reported knowledge of animals subjected to lack of food, water, shelter or veterinary care. Other types of neglect included poor husbandry, lack of appropriate hygiene and insufficient grooming, shearing and farriery for horses.

RSPCA Victoria Chief Inspector Michael Stagg said that by raising awareness of the most prevalent types of animal cruelty, the community can work together to do better for Victoria’s animals.

“For many, the perception of animal cruelty relates to deliberate acts such as beating or wounding, and while this does occur, the data consistently shows the most common form of cruelty is neglect. There are many responsible pet ownership resources available, and we encourage anyone who is the owner or person in charge of animals to be aware of their responsibilities to provide care, or alternatively to seek help from their local council, a veterinarian or animal welfare organisation.”

“We acknowledge that in addition to the rising cost of living, which may impact the ability of some to care for their pets, many Victorians adopted pets during the pandemic, some as first-time pet owners who may still require information or support to help them understand how to best care for their animals. It is important all pet owners understand the specific needs of their pets in terms of food, water, shelter, grooming and exercise.

“If you are the owner or person in charge of an animal you have legal and moral obligations to that animal. RSPCA Victoria is committed to helping people better care for their pets however neglect is against the law and is never acceptable therefore we will hold people to account if they do not meet the required standards of care,” said Chief Inspector Stagg.

Three steps Victorians can take to help end animal cruelty

STEP 1 – If you have pets or are in charge of animals, make sure they provide them with:

  • Sufficient food
  • Access to clean water all the time
  • Adequate shelter
  • Clean, secure living space
  • Regular veterinary checks and prompt vet care if unwell or injured
  • Regular grooming (e.g. some breeds of dog and cat), dental checks and farrier visits for horses.

STEP 2 – If you are struggling to care for your animals don’t ignore the problem – reach out for help:

  • Speak with your vet about your options
  • Contact your local animal shelter or RSPCA Victoria
  • Consider surrendering your pet to an animal shelter so it can receive proper care and be rehomed.

STEP 3 – If you are concerned about animal cruelty:

  • Report it to RSPCA Victoria by phoning (03) 9224 2222 – line is open 24/7
  • Visit and make an online report

Animal cruelty data from RSPCA Victoria Inspectorate for 2021-22

Reports by local government area – Rankings by number of reports
2021-22 ranking2021-22 reportsLocal government area2020-21




1552Greater Geelong City Council1640
2531Casey City Council2577
3379Wyndham City Council4348
4364Hume City Council3386
5340Whittlesea City Council5343
6311Mornington Peninsula Shire Council6340
7311Yarra Ranges Shire Council11288
8288Melton Shire Council7320
9282Frankston City Council12283
10282City of Greater Bendigo9305

Notes: The LGA’s that featured in 2020-21 and dropped below the top ten rankings by report in 2021-22

– Latrobe City Council and Cardinia Shire Council.

Reports by local government area – Rankings by reports per capita
2021-22 ranking2021-22 Per capita Local government area
1163Pyrenees Shire Council
2191Strathbogie Shire Council
3211Central Goldfields Shire Council
4234Yarriambiack Shire Council
5236West Wimmera Shire Council
6238Mitchell Shire Council
7244Hepburn Shire Council
8252Corangamite Shire Council
9287Rural City of Wangaratta
10287Latrobe City Council

Note: LGAs that featured in 2020-21 and dropped below the top ten rankings by reports per capita in

2021-22 – Buloke Shire Council and Loddon Shire Council

Reported concerns 21/2220/21
Instances of animals with insufficient food, water or shelter4,9085,520
Concerns about hygiene, grooming and housing conditions4,2614,149
Reports relating to underweight animals2,5852,636
Sick and injured animals not receiving veterinary treatment2,3472,565
Concerns about animals being beaten, wounded or abused1,5961,702
Instances of abandoned animals1,2751,163

Note: Many of the reports received by RSPCA Victoria in 2021-22 included allegations of multiple

offences involving multiple animals, hence the total number of offences exceeds the 10,577 reports.

Animals most commonly reported

Welfare concerns for dogs, cats and horses continued to make up the majority of the 10,577 cruelty reports in 2021-22:

· 6,846 reports involved dogs and puppies

· 1922 reports involved cats and kittens

· 1,070 reports involved horses

Offences in the 2021-22 reports

In 2021-22, RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate issued 287 notices to comply, finalised 74 prosecutions, resulting in 68 guilty findings and 46 disqualification orders.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full here.